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Shot placement on elk!

 
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  #15  
Old 07-06-2011, 08:37 PM
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Re: Shot placement on elk!

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Originally Posted by TopGunner View Post
Being an elk hunter in the Bitterroots of Montana for all of my life I have been blessed to take many elk. I have raised my children on the best of organic wild meat and shot placement really does make a difference in how much meat makes it to the freezer. A couple of blood shot front quarters can cost you a bit in time to clean it up and also loss due to being blood shot. If you shoot it too high against the back bone you can ruin a bit a back strap, which will cost you some mighty fine steaks.

When you get right down to it, you take the shot you can get. Elk always appear when you least expect it and you may be shooting in poor light, a long distance, the animal may be standing turned toward or away from you or there might be brush covering the ideal shot placement. The best shot is the one you can make. We do try to operate on the one shot one kill theory. Filling a dieing critter full of holes just to make it drop is not always the best action. An elk with a through and through hole in its lungs can travel a long ways if chased, but if you take a break from the chase and just sit down and be quiet for 20 or 30 min, more often than not you will find the elk either dead or dying within 100 yards of where you made the kill shot. Get the shot right and take out the heart and the critter just will not go far at all.

This last year, I was out hunting elk with my 16 year old son. We were walking up a steep ridge, myself in the lead, when we spooked a group of elk that were bedded down in the brush to our left. The elk broke but being uncertain of our positions crossed the trail up-hill from us about 50 yards. I asked my son if he was going to shoot one as I fell to the ground so as not to obstruct his shot with the back of my head. As one stopped to look down toward us I heard the 30-06 blast over my head. "Did you get it? Did you get it?" I shouted over the ringing in my ears. I don't know dad....I just had a moment to shoot and all I could see was the neck and head. We walked up the trail and found the elk dead and bleeding out from the shot through the neck at the base of the skull. The practice on the range at close distances paid off and the boy filled the freezer for another season.
Very well put! I don't know how many elk I've seen that needed just a couple more seconds, they are wobbling and the oil pressure is crashing and then someone whips another one at it, it's like it kicks em into high gear. Also been standing there waiting for the second shot while they top the ridge

I used to cut game professionally and the average loss of meat to a solid front shoulder shot is 16 lbs per quarter hit on and average MT elk which dresses 250 lbs on the rail, the last one I weighted was hit 3 times in the front end with a 7mag with zero penetration and it cost close to 40 lbs. That a lot of hamburger meat, or one good batch of Salami
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  #16  
Old 07-12-2011, 03:48 PM
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Re: Shot placement on elk!

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Originally Posted by WyoElk2Hunt View Post
I like the advise of shoot him till he is down and stays down. They can go for a while and where they go is not usually the best place for you to go.
Shoot to break bones like shoulders and make sure you have enough bullet to do the job.. a 180 AB is good I say 200 AB is better and like he said dont stop shooting till they are on the ground they can go further on 3 legs in chest deep snow in 20 minutes than i care to go in a week
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" Real elk guns start with the number 3 or bigger and blow two holes, one in and one out." - My Dad
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  #17  
Old 07-15-2011, 02:56 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Northern California
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Re: Shot placement on elk!

If a broadside shot presents itself IMHO you should be shooting for the lungs. Breaking down an elk with a shoulder shot is risky as they are a big, strong animal and capable of going a long ways while wounded. The farthest I have ever had to track an elk that I lung shot was about 200 yards.

Shoot straight and good luck on your upcoming hunt.
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  #18  
Old 07-15-2011, 03:06 PM
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Re: Shot placement on elk!

Perfect shots don't always happen as everyone knows so make sure you have a big enough gun and use bullets That are heavy enough and retain weight well enough to be sure you can break shoulder bones and its not neraly as risky as using something like a Berger bullet. That in my opinion is truly risky. Remember elk are tough And sometime crap goes wrong so be sure you shoot a bullet That can anchor an elk weighed its broad side. Facing you or running away. I have killed a lot of elk and I assure you bullet selection is far more important than bullet placement.
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Anything less than overkill is underachievement!

" Real elk guns start with the number 3 or bigger and blow two holes, one in and one out." - My Dad
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  #19  
Old 07-18-2011, 10:03 PM
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Re: Shot placement on elk!

The high shoulder works really well but shoot a bullet that will hang together.I like the Berger vld over h4831 s.c
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  #20  
Old 07-19-2011, 05:29 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
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Re: Shot placement on elk!

It's all good advice if you know where to place the shot on a moose the same spot will work on elk . I will take the high shoulder shuts down the ability to move. But you need to use the proper bullet on elk accubond wouldn't be my first choice.despite the hype most elk killed 300 yds and under.and the cartridges are really a mixed batch. Good luck and good shooting.
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  #21  
Old 07-28-2011, 02:31 PM
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Location: Alpine, Calif.
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Re: Shot placement on elk!

Great advice from everyone. The bowsite recommended by Dr. Vette is an outstanding source of information and is constantly updated. Having harvested a fair share of elk and other big game the advice about proper bullet choice is the most critical. The best shot placement as indicated by others isn't always available.

Therefore practicing in the field with the rifle and load you hunt with does wonders for the moment when an elk appears. I reload and spent allot of time out in the field shooting from odd positions and angles at close and long range to simulate hunting conditions. I wear the gear I use while hunting including carrying a pack. This makes for some physically exhausting shooting sessions.

I prefer to place my shots when possible behind the shoulder and bicep 2/3rds up from the point of the elbow at the brisket. This permits maximum bullet penetration and traumatic shock effect to surrounding lungs and the heart. They don't go very far and in most cases are DRT. But I've had to take more snap shoots than I like. I've been fortunate to have recovered those animals. Knowing I made a clean killing shot allows me to wait out the animal.

Bow hunting teaches the hunter to be patient and let the slicing effect of the broadhead to bleed out the animal. They generally cover less than a 100yds and then lay down and die.

The photo is a calf elk I shot at 168yds uphill offhand. 168gr Barnes TTSX, 300WM. I could only see it's head an a little of it's neck. I placed my reticle under the chin aiming at the throat. At the shot it dropped in it's tracks.

Gonzo
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